This morning, I had the pleasure of listening in on a panel at OMMA Social titled, Social Media – Hot to Connect Metrics with Objectives. As you can imagine, the focus was on the Holy Grail of social media i.e., measurement. The list of panelists are below (David B. moderated the panel). Since I’m live blogging, the write up will be more of a collection of notes/tweets vs. a cohesive write up. Depending on where this goes, I may go back and do a second look. Here goes:
- David Berkowitz – sr. director of emerging media & innovaiton at 360i
- Carla Bourque – VP of sales and bizdev at Six Apart
- Steve Kerho, SVP, analytics , media & marketing optimization, Organic, Inc.
- Amber Naslund, director of community, Radian6
- Bill Stephenson, VP social media & client services, Nielsen Online
- Jim Sterne, President Target Marketing of Santa Barbara
The panel started off with a discussion of a basic principal of measurement (could be applied to any marketing discipline) namely that it starts with goals. Any company needs to know what they are trying to achieve and ideally, what the benchmarks look like for those measurements. Amber (Radian6) cited a case recently where a company wanted help with measurement yet wasn’t benchmarking across other channels. Of course this isn’t unique but might lead to future frustration as marketers hope/expect that agencies/service providers in the world of “social” will magicially be able to pull meaningfull statistics out of thin air.
David (360i) asked the question of the panelists, “what one thing do you hear that marketers wish they could measure better?” Some of the answers that came back were:
- Which of all the stuff going on (Facebook, blogging, Twitter) is the most successful?
- What is the reach (personally, this is a huge one and likely will make or break many social media campaigns this year).
- Who are my most influential advocates? What spurs them to take action?
Another question (this time from Twitter), “when will predictive analytics take hold in social media?” A good response to this was captured by DaveYamon on Twitter…
@jimsterne says predictive analytics is data poor, SM is data rich: “Chocolate and peanut butter waiting to happen” #ommasocial
Amber chimed in and said that a lot of companies that Radian6 is working with are still in the early phases of adoption. So understanding second and third level impact is still on the horizon. She also emphasized the need for commonality in language between brand marketers and the C-suite. Knowing what “ROI” means and what the expectations are of what’s getting measured (and what’s possible) is key.
Carla (Six Apart) mentioned the importance of letting go a little bit of the rigid structure of traditional measurement.
Another good Twitter comment by Forrester Analyst, Augie Ray…
What is the value of a follower? Depends on what they’re saying! #OMMASocial panel<-the tweet that proves its own rule
My new friend, Siouxsie Jennett, asked a question that built on Augie’s point. She mentioned that the CEO of a client company was complaining about only having 200 followers on Twitter. Her question was how to make the C-suite better understand the relative value of a follow. For instance, the aforementioned company only targeted 1,200 companies worldwide. From that perspective, 200 out of 1,200 looked pretty darn good.
Another topic of focus was share of conversation. This metric measures the share of possible conversation that a company could be part of. For instance, a small B2B company should expect to get the same interaction/share of conversation as Nike. But this company should be looking at the amount of conversation around their industry and specifically, among their competitors.
Bottom line, panels like these never dig as deep into the world of metrics as we’d like but there definitely were some interesting perspectives shared. To that end, keep an eye on the Twitter stream coming from OMMA today for other interesting nuggets.